Fleur @ Home florist Annick Mertens runs her own flower business named ‘Onverbloemd’ (Outspoken), organises workshops and demonstrations and does floral arrangements for events. In an exclusive interview, she tells us how she weathered these last months and talks to us about her work for the new Fleur @ Home magazine.
Hi Annick. In recent months many florists have had to make some serious adjustments: events were cancelled and shops had to close. What was your experience like this period?
‘We switched quickly and completely changed the way we work. It was important to adapt to the change in a creative and resilient way. Lucky for us, we were able to keep working,’ Annick tells the FLEUR editors.
‘Our focus shifted completely to our web shop in this period and towards social media, which became even more important. We arranged deliveries at home with DIY packages that our customers could then make at home, because we had to cancel the workshops. We even had free delivery the first few months in our area around the Waasland. This way our customers got to know our store better, which was also a kind of promotion.’
How important was that promotion for you at that time?
‘Hugely important. We communicated even more than usual via Facebook and Instagram. The visual aspect of that medium is, of course, very important, so we had to make sure that we provided great footage. StudioPSG always does such a great job to portray the Fleur @ Home creations. That is actually quite a task: the position of the floral arrangement has to be right; the model’s dress has to look just right… I suddenly had to do all that by myself, which wasn’t easy. Lucky for me, my neighbour has a cute little girl with lovely blond curls. She was the perfect model to pose with our floral arrangements for the summer,’ Annick laughs.
In the meantime, how are things going with you and the store? Is everything somewhat back to normal?
‘Things are going pretty well. I’ve started to do workshops again, but for small groups. This is where students learn how to make the floral arrangements from Fleur @ Home. Besides the store that’s open again and the web shop that’s doing well, these workshops provide some extra income.’
Which arrangement from the new Fleur Créatif @ Home is your favourite?
‘Without a doubt, my personal favourite is the Erica arrangement, with the dried moss, roses and Chrysanthemum. As you can see, I love to experiment with colours and typical autumn materials. I noticed that my students prefer to do floral arrangements that are not too complicated. Relaxation during the workshops is the most important thing for them. They thought that the centrepiece with Cobra leaf was an absolute stunner. The wreath and the apple garland were also favourite choices during the workshops.’
Discover the very colourful designs by floral artist Annick Mertens now in Fleur Créatif @ Home – Autumn special 2020.